Settings that you would appreciate

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Settings that you would appreciate

#1 Post by gekiganwing » Tue May 01, 2012 11:02 pm

You might remember the "Protagonists that you would appreciate" thread. Well, this one is quite similar. It's about hypothetical settings for hypothetical visual novels. I'm curious what sort of locations/time periods/universes you would find unique and compelling, and so on. Just like before, this thread is not primarily about discussing settings that already exist in other fictional works, or discussing specific stories and games that already exist. Just so I make that clear.

If possible, state the following information:

* Would this setting work for a short scene or two, or could it work as the backdrop for a lengthy game/story?
* Does it exist in the current real world? Did it exist in the past, or might it exist in the near future?
* If the setting involves both the real world and a supernatural world, how will the two interact?
* Is it part of an alternate history, or an alternate universe?
* If it's a fantasy/sci-fi setting, then how much does it depart from the current real world?
* Finally, how much research and effort do you think your setting would require? Is it a fictional world that's familiar and easy to understand? Is it an alien world that will seem inaccurate or incomplete without a lot of work? Somewhere in the middle?

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue May 01, 2012 11:27 pm

I know this might be weird, but I'd like to see more settings set in the native locations of VN creators. We have such a diverse community from all over the world, yet so many times the modern setting in a VN is in Japan or America. I just think there is a lot of potential for diversity of modern locations.

Oh, and I totally thought this was a thread about "Settings" like in "Preferences and Options" for VNs at first, and got excited.

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#3 Post by OokamiKasumi » Tue May 01, 2012 11:49 pm

gekiganwing wrote:...what sort of locations/time periods/universes you would find unique and compelling...?
Steampunk fascinates the heck out of me. http://www.steampunk.com/
-- However, to do something like this justice would take an enormous amount of skill in both the writer and the artist doing the backdrops and characters.
* Would this setting work for a short scene or two, or could it work as the backdrop for a lengthy game/story?
A steampunk setting would indeed work in a short such as a fairy tale type story. However, integrating the steampunk elements into a short tale might prove difficult since it's complicated to explain. It might be better to save the steampunk elements strictly for the Art.

On the other hand, it would shine in a full-sized milieu story. In a milieu story, the Location/Setting is just as important as the characters. In other words, the Setting is what makes the plot happen and the characters react to it. The anime Steamboy and Gosick are both milieu-style steampunk stories.
* Does it exist in the current real world? Did it exist in the past, or might it exist in the near future?
Steampunk is an Alternate History sort of setting. Think: Jules Verne; Victorian era science fiction.
* If the setting involves both the real world and a supernatural world, how will the two interact?
Beautifully. The Victorian era was rife with spiritualism; mediums, ghosts, and fortune-telling. It was during this era that the magician Alister Crowley created the Order of the Golden Dawn, Edgar Allen Poe waxed poetic about ravens, and HP Lovecraft wrote about Cthulhu.
* If it's a fantasy/sci-fi setting, then how much does it depart from the current real world?
That depends on how far one feels the Victorian era departs from the current real world. The clothing is different, but one can still find perfectly intact Victorian houses, costumes, and furniture.
* How much research and effort do you think your setting would require?
A LOT. Victorian architecture and costumes are not easy to draw and explaining the technology could prove messy.
Is it a fictional world that's familiar and easy to understand?
That depends on how deep one plans to go into the politics and social situations of that era. That stuff can get decidedly complicated. If kept on the surface though, it's highly recognizable.
Is it [a] world that will seem inaccurate or incomplete without a lot of work?
Yes, sadly.
Last edited by OokamiKasumi on Tue May 01, 2012 11:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#4 Post by Samu-kun » Tue May 01, 2012 11:50 pm

My ideal settles are either Japan or far flung future or JRPG fantasy. But only problem is that all those settings are pretty hard to pull off successfully.

For Japan, the biggest problem is authenticity. Japan has a very unique feel to it which is difficult to capture in narrative form. Most parts of Japan are very difficult for Americans to grasp since their cultures are very different.

For either far flung future or fantasy, I'd want grand empires, politics, treachery, and commerce. The biggest problem is the amount of imagination and skill required to draw backgrounds which capture the grand scope of the setting. I'd imagine such settings to be great to see, but a pain to produce!

And oh yeah, steampunk is always good too! Especially with gothic lolita everywhere and big machines with a lot of dakka. =w=

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#5 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Wed May 02, 2012 12:11 am

Obviously great minds think alike. The settings that I have my heart set on doing one day/would fall over myself to draw for are:

-1940's setting. That era was gorgeous! The fashion, the design, the technology, the view of the future! :Q
-Space. I will blame Mass Effect for this one but I would really love to do a proper sci-fi story in space. I would like to try designing aliens.
-Fantasy. I would like to do this one both to work with the stereotypes I enjoy and also subvert the hell at some things.
-Steampunk. Come on. That is an artists paradise, even if it is fiddly as. There is something about the mix of past and future that makes it very appealing and romantic.

The main draw for all of these is the chance to design. There is only so much you can do with a realistic present setting. Everyone know what the world looks like right now. There isn't much opportunity to world build and be creative with the settings and characters. THAT would be amazing.

Oh, and maybe outback Australia. I could have kangaroos and sheep everywhere :B

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#6 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed May 02, 2012 12:23 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote:-1940's setting. That era was gorgeous! The fashion, the design, the technology, the view of the future! :Q
Art Deco...! Dear God, that would be awesome to see done right. Lots of early comic book super heroes came from this era; The Green Hornet, The Shadow, Dick Tracey, Superman, Tarzan...
-Steampunk. Come on. That is an artists paradise, even if it is fiddly... There is something about the mix of past and future that makes it very appealing and romantic.
The writing I can do, it's the art I can't. I wish I had the drawing skill to pull this one off. Seriously.
The main draw for all of these is the chance to design. There is only so much you can do with a realistic present setting. Everyone knows what the world looks like right now. There isn't much opportunity to world build and be creative with the settings and characters.
No Lie. The settings alone would fire the imaginations of the readers. The trick would be to find a writer -- and a story -- worthy of this level of art.
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#7 Post by Sapphi » Wed May 02, 2012 1:08 am

gekiganwing wrote:I'm curious what sort of locations/time periods/universes you would find unique and compelling, and so on.
I have a fascination with history in general, so I could think of pretty much ANY time period and setting and find something compelling about it... but... in general...

- Time periods with a sharp air of social change, revolution, rebellion, etc. I don't necessarily just mean war. The protests against segregation and racism in America, the hippies and Woodstock, the more quiet and personal rebellions that transcend location and time... etc. etc.

- Settings where a lot is at stake. These days in America and other fortunate countries, if you get an infection, you pop some pills and it goes away (unless it's MRSA, but we won't talk about that). In an earlier time, if you got an infection, you could die. That kind of possibility of death at a young age changes the social dynamics of a setting. These days we frown on sentimentality, but in that kind of a world, young lovers are allowed to be overly sentimental, because there is a real chance one or both of them is going to meet a terrible end.

- Settings that breed interesting psychology. Let's take the Victorian era. Human beings are sexual creatures by default. Put them in an intensely repressive atmosphere and what do you get? Sexuality radiating outward, redirected energy, fetishes and fixations, men swooning over the rustle of women's dresses, getting excited about piano legs, etcetera. Interesting and fun. (Maybe not for the characters, but fun for me, because I enjoy reading about self-inflicted suffering. :P )
LateWhiteRabbit wrote:I know this might be weird, but I'd like to see more settings set in the native locations of VN creators. We have such a diverse community from all over the world, yet so many times the modern setting in a VN is in Japan or America. I just think there is a lot of potential for diversity of modern locations.
I don't think it's weird... I've been thinking about it a bit myself. I've lived in rural Midwest America for most of my life, and it definitely has its own character. At some point I think I will try to write a story based heavily on my experiences here, although I won't be able to show it to anyone IRL for obvious reasons... :?
Auro-Cyanide wrote: -Steampunk. Come on. That is an artists paradise, even if it is fiddly as. There is something about the mix of past and future that makes it very appealing and romantic.
While I think steampunk as a genre is really neat, I think it wants a great writer and an artist with understanding of technology to pull it off, or else it will remind me of that dumb Etsy phenomenon where everyone just makes stuff that's sort of bookishly nostalgic somehow and calls it steampunk to sell it.

But I would very much like to see more stories set in Australia, since just about the only things I know about it are Vegemite, rugby, cool accents, a fancy opera house, and lots of terrifying and/or cool animals. :P
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#8 Post by Joey » Wed May 02, 2012 3:39 am

I'm a student now so I set most of what I do in school. ._. It's a little boring I admit, but I'd rather write from experience than from an ideal, or without doing proper research. >.<

I think that's the thing about historical settings, to make it authentic you have to put in a lot of research. Even for fantasy settings when you can make things up as you please, there still has to be some sort of basis on reality... fancy things like sword language or the proper name for the clothes that they're wearing. I do prefer non-modern settings but only if they're done well. :')

I also want to see something futuristic, but not sci-fi. Like a future in 2112 where there aren't flying cars, or spaceships. I think when a lot of people do futuristic, they always take the space-war-apocalypse approach, but I'd just like to see one about modern life in the future. Something simple and slice-of-life? Idk :\\\ This probably wouldn't require a lot of research, maybe just in one or two areas where the world would really have to change.

Another one, post-apocalyptic! That's always fun. :3 Something gritty and disgusting (lol), like HellMOO.
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#9 Post by Cidz » Wed May 02, 2012 4:23 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote:-1940's setting. That era was gorgeous! The fashion, the design, the technology, the view of the future! :Q
Oh, i would love that! from like the 1920s-1940s.

I also agree with the steampunk (or even just a victorian) theme.

Noir would be kind of cool (and would fit in nicely with a 1940s theme).

Also maybe centered around a workplace or something. Just a normal place like a convient store, or resturant, or bowling alley or something.

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#10 Post by sciencewarrior » Wed May 02, 2012 6:24 am

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:I know this might be weird, but I'd like to see more settings set in the native locations of VN creators.
No way. I don't want to set a story in Brazil, then have to explain why I didn't include carnival, soccer, beaches, jungles, slums, and organized crime.

A steampunk/roaring twenties story in the deep jungle, now that would be a blast. Not suitable for short stories, pretty hard to design, but immensely fun. You can throw in all kinds of jungle spirits and curses if you want, or just use the Ingenuity of the Ancient to explain some nifty stone-age mechanisms (many of which are meant to make skeletons out of unwary explorers.) Bold Men and Women of Action clad in khaki are a must, and you can add early Nazi or just go with immoral tomb raiders as antagonists.

Research? What research? Just invoke the Rule of Cool and have fun.
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#11 Post by Cain » Wed May 02, 2012 6:55 am

The Internet – in real-life.

Think of an epic tale such a LOTR, then replace the entire Tolkienish atmosphere with the quirkiness of the web.
I'm not thinking of yet another hacker-story here, but rather, a complete overhaul of the world!

Messaging boards represented as villages with their odd habits and dominant admins.
Routers and firewalls: the strongholds and castles of the modern time.
And then, a protagonist: overwhelmed by it all, seeking a digital needle in a recycle bin.

This can easily fill an entire novel; just imagine the amount of metaphors, comparisons analyses you can fill it with.
It would take time and dedication to assemble its background, but once the foundation is lain, this could be great!

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#12 Post by gekiganwing » Wed May 02, 2012 7:55 am

One setting I'd find amusing: "trashy 80s movie." Inspired especially by the works of the Cannon Group (aka Golan and Globus), and influenced by the passage of time since that era ended. Relatively easy to research, and intentionally low budget.

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#13 Post by Argeus_the_Paladin » Wed May 02, 2012 8:23 am

gekiganwing wrote:You might remember the "Protagonists that you would appreciate" thread. Well, this one is quite similar. It's about hypothetical settings for hypothetical visual novels. I'm curious what sort of locations/time periods/universes you would find unique and compelling, and so on. Just like before, this thread is not primarily about discussing settings that already exist in other fictional works, or discussing specific stories and games that already exist. Just so I make that clear.

If possible, state the following information:

* Would this setting work for a short scene or two, or could it work as the backdrop for a lengthy game/story?
* Does it exist in the current real world? Did it exist in the past, or might it exist in the near future?
* If the setting involves both the real world and a supernatural world, how will the two interact?
* Is it part of an alternate history, or an alternate universe?
* If it's a fantasy/sci-fi setting, then how much does it depart from the current real world?
* Finally, how much research and effort do you think your setting would require? Is it a fictional world that's familiar and easy to understand? Is it an alien world that will seem inaccurate or incomplete without a lot of work? Somewhere in the middle?
*Glances at user location* I thought my answer is obvious: The Basileios ton Rhomaion / Eastern Roman / Byzantine Empire at its heyday under the reign of the Komnenos Dynasty (Technically not exactly its heyday, but hey, Manuel I Komnenos is one awesome dude, you'll have to give me that :wink: ).

The history of the Byzantine Empire is rich. Between the transformation of a Roman empire into a Hellenic empire, the attempt to reconquer the Western half of the Empire lost to barbarian invasion and the formation of medieval WE states, the many wars with the Bulgars, the Italian states, the Islamic nations as well as the stormy relationship between the Orthodox and the Catholic church culminating in the Great Schism and - in later times - the Sack of Constantinople (1204) and the fact that the Rhomaioi were at their heart a bunch of prolific plotters, schemers and backstabbers, aaaaand you've got all the element we'd ever need for a lengthy and complex visual novel.

As for whether such a setting could go the historical or alternative history way, depends. On one hand, the whole history of the Eastern Roman Empire was one of much missed opportunity. In the Dark Age, they managed to be some sort of a beacon of light, preserving much of what was great and progressive of those wacky toga-dressed, couch-slouching Roman ancestors and boat\sting the kind of achievements that the Western world would find no equal until the 14th-15th century - and you can argue not even then. For centuries Constantinople was the most wonderful city in the face of the continent, boasting financial and cultural activities that nowhere else could match. It was just that great.

But on the other, the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire was equally disappointing. Between all the factors I mentioned above, plus one or two great plagues and the general bastardry of its ruling class, the Empire was on a steady decline even before the Sack of Constantinople and the eventual fall of the Empire in 1454. So a story set here could go either way: Either depict the fall of Constantinople and the Empire as a tragic, yet eventual process owing to the corruption, treachery and feebleness of its rulers, - historical - or put an extraordinary person at its helm in a crucial time to revive the Empire - alternate history!

I have yet to read a better alternative history about the Byzantine Empire than the after-action report "I Am Skantarios: Rebirth of the Roman Empire". As the name suggested, it's the second category.

Research? Ah... that's where the difficulties come in. The Byzantine Empire is way different compared to your average European ur-kingdom (Then again, the Germanic states, the Hanseatic League and the Italian merchant republics were different as well, but I digress). Just the list of court title and court functions of Byzantine nobles alone filled up a rather long Wikipedia page. But, IMO, that's where the appeal comes in - it's different and exotic.

Unfortunately, this setting is as obscure as it is interesting. It would be... difficult to write, much less market, such a pvisual novel. But hey, I can dream, right?
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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#14 Post by Calissa Leigh » Wed May 02, 2012 10:00 am

I like different settings because I like learning about different places, even if the place is totally made up. World building in fantasy is super important. There's been books written on the topic.

Most of the books I've written came from real places I've been. Even if I call the name something else, and I don't specifically say where it is, the "coastal town" I may talk about in a book is usually somewhere I've lived before.

If you're going to talk about a real place, like Kyoto or New York, etc., you should either have lived there or do a whole lot of research. Otherwise you'll get countless emails about why you didn't know that the real Main St. in Kyoto didn't have a hair salon like in your story. It happens, I've heard it from numerous authors. :)

If you make up your town, even if you put it in some state or location that is familiar, it becomes easier. But then you still have to give the city a real feel.

For alien worlds, I know Gini Koch (wrote Touched by an Alien) told me that her world building she kind of did on the fly, and a bunch of geek physicists did the math and then wrote to her to tell her that her book was actually fairly accurate (as in, her science stuff would actually work if it ever came about). She was pleased, and then a little nervous to think her books had been analyzed so much. :)

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Re: Settings that you would appreciate

#15 Post by DaFool » Wed May 02, 2012 1:24 pm

Argeus_the_Paladin wrote: Unfortunately, this setting is as obscure as it is interesting. It would be... difficult to write, much less market, such a visual novel. But hey, I can dream, right?
Have the characters have coitus after every two scenes of political intrigue and back-biting, and it will sell. I mean, it worked for The Tudors and Game of Thrones, right? A backdrop of Great Civilizations always makes everything seem more sexy.
LateWhiteRabbit wrote: I'd like to see more settings set in the native locations of VN creators.
Good if you come from a place with rich history. Not so great if the Spaniards happened to have wiped out most of that history and all that's left are oral tradition tales that don't make any sense. Colonial times could be interesting though (if not overbearing). Hmmm... perhaps Japanese Occupation? I've had great uncles who fought on both sides and my grandfather's farm was near the field where they launched Kamikaze attacks. It would be f-in epic... but unfortunately it would require the research and interviewing relatives and have an insane art budget (realistic style, uuggghhh, or at least something dreamy like Mushishi) and I don't think will give any great return in terms of attention, even if the resulting product were free.

I'm glad many people here like steampunk, at least. I felt let down by Last Exile since it was more form than substance (real steampunk, imho, is very science fiction or at least space opera-like in writing) There's a difference between rendering countless CG cutscenes of airships and actually immersing someone into the world.

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